Opinion Column

Premier Clark's BC Jobs Plan clearly not working 0

Bill Tieleman

By Bill Tieleman, News, Views, and Attitude – 24 hours

B.C. Premier Christy Clark announces the Jobs and Trade Mission to Asia at a press conference in Vancouver, B.C. on Tuesday September 10, 2013. The Premier will lead a thirteen day trade mission to China, Korea, and Japan. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

B.C. Premier Christy Clark announces the Jobs and Trade Mission to Asia at a press conference in Vancouver, B.C. on Tuesday September 10, 2013. The Premier will lead a thirteen day trade mission to China, Korea, and Japan. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

Topics

I’m going to run in the next election on the strong economy. I’m going to run on (being) number one in job creation – B.C. Premier Christy Clark, October 2012

The BC Jobs Plan isn’t working.

And neither are about 8,000 British Columbians who actually lost their jobs in November alone, according to Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey, bumping the unemployment rate up to 6.7% from October’s 6.5%, even though nationally an additional 21,600 jobs were gained.

The number of people employed in B.C. has dropped 15,500 since November 2012, StatsCan reports.

Clark launched her BC Jobs Plan in Sept. 2011, backed by a $15-million-taxpayer-paid advertising campaign, that promised work, but in the past year has largely only delivered pink slips.

It’s kind of hard to lead the country in job creation when you are shedding, not creating, employment.

B.C.’s 6.7% unemployment rate is the worst in western Canada, with Saskatchewan at just 4.1% jobless, Alberta at 4.7% and Manitoba at 5.6%.

According to Stats Canada, Vancouver also has the highest jobless rate of major cities in western Canada at 6.6%, compared to Regina at 3.9%, Calgary at 4.6%, Edmonton at 5.1% and Winnipeg at 5.9%. Clark’s new hometown of Kelowna, where she is now an MLA, has a 6.2% unemployment rate.

From Sept. 2011 to Nov. 2013 British Columbia has added a minuscule 1,800 more jobs while the population increased by 83,300, according to Statistics Canada data. Meanwhile during the same period Canada as a whole added 434,500 jobs.

If Clark’s jobs plan continues to enjoy this rate of success, B.C. would lead the country in job creation by, well, never.

Kind of doesn’t validate what Clark claimed when she launched the BC Jobs Plan on Sept. 22, 2011:

“The first pillar is job creation, job creation with a common sense government that opens doors, instead of closing them.”

But let’s be charitable and give the premier a positive suggestion: restore the position of Jobs Protection Commissioner that was abolished by ex-premier Gordon Campbell.

Between 1990 and 2001 the Jobs Protection Commissioner helped save 75,000 good jobs by bringing together workers, employers, creditors, investors, unions, government and community leaders to find constructive alternatives to terminating employment.

That’s one BC job plan that might actually work.

 

Bill Tieleman is a former NDP strategist. Read more at billtieleman.blogspot.com Email: weststar@telus.net Twitter: @BillTieleman

 

 

 

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